Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, Mar 22:
Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik today wrote to Prime Minister Narendra Modi requesting him to allocate Baitarani East Coal Block in favour of Odisha Thermal Power Corporation Ltd (OTPCL) to cater to the requirement of its upcoming power project in Dhenkanal District.
“Baitarani East coal mine having a tentative reserve of about 600 MT of coal has been allocated to MCL, but geographically it is situated far away from the command area of operation of MCL. It will be easier on the part of the State PSU to develop this coal mine as it is bordering Baitarani West coal mine recently allocated to the state government. I would, therefore, request you to kindly consider allocating Baitarani East coal block in favour of OTPCL to cater to the requirement of the power project being set up by it in Dhenkanal District. Alternatively, Karadabahal & Brahmanibil coal blocks, which are also located nearby and having adequate reserves to cater to the requirement of the aforesaid power project may be considered for allocation to the State PSU, OTPCL,” Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik wrote in the letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
It may be mentioned here that Tentuloi coal block was allocated to OTPCL as no other alternative coal block was available at that point of time. As the cost of extracting coal from this deep cast mine will be prohibitively high, the state government had requested Ministry of Coal to cancel the Tentuloi coal block and allot Chhendipada and Chhendipada-II coal block to OTPCL.
However, no coal block has been allocated in favour of OTPCL so far.
OTPCL, a joint venture company of two state government undertakings, is establishing a 3200 MW (4 X 800 MW) coal-based super critical thermal power plant near Kamakhyanagar in Dhenkanal District.